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Things to do in Barcelona when it's raining E-mail

Things to do when it rains Barcelona

Things to do in Barcelona when it rains

Updated January 2017

What to do in Barcelona on a rainy day in wet weather? There are many things to do when it's raining in Barcelona. The most popular ideas are to visit Barcelona museums, shopping malls or just get your umbrella and cruise through Barcelona on the double-decker Barcelona hop-on-hop-off bus tours which are covered when it rains. Wet weather ideas for what to do when it rains in Barcelona.

Rain is quite rare in Barcelona, but you might be unlucky and experience a day of rain showers. The rainy season in Barcelona is mostly in the spring during March and April and then again in autumn/fall from October onwards. Generally it onlys rain for a day, but Barcelona does get periods of rain that can last for a few days or days with many showers. 

Check Barcelona hourly weather forecast

The silver lining of bad weather in Barcelona is that this is a city with many fun and interesting things to do on a rainy day including many great museums. Click on the blue links in the text below for more information.

Our first tip is to keep smiling! You are still in Barcelona and you are still on vacation. A rainy day might change your plans but it also means that you might see something interesting or fun that you had not planned at all. So in our experience a rainy day can still be a great day!

A good idea to do is buy an umbrella ‘paraguas’ or a rain poncho ‘poncho de lluvia’. You can usually buy cheap ( but not very good quality) umbrellas and poncho from street vendors at around €10 euros. Be warned that the small cheap umbrellas are only good for light rain. If you want something better go to Flying Tiger stores Barcelona or Decathlon sports stores in Barcelona

Hop-on-Hop-off bus tours

There are two tour companies that offer hop-on-hop-off bus tours and both have double decker buses with a covered top deck when it rains, so you can still enjoy a bus tour of Barcelona. If you take the hop-on-hop-off bus then you can spend time in museums and attractions along the way. This is really a good option for a rainy day because you can still see the sights from the bus and only get off if the weather improves. The tour buses have a great view if you can get a seat on top and you get interesting commentary in the free headphones.

Hop-on-hop-off bus tickets are valid all day and there are several different lines, so you can see the entire city on a rainy day. You might have to wait in line sometimes to get back on the bus, so an umbrella or rain poncho is still a good idea. Ask your hotel where the nearest hop-on-hop-off stop is. There are two companies that offer hop-on-hop-off. Buy tickets using the blue links Barcelona Bus Turistica and Barcelona City Tours. You can pick up your tickets on board the buses. 

Shopping centres and malls

Shopping is a popular choice for part of the day when it's raining in Barcelona. Barcelona has many excellent shopping malls and centres. A fun shopping centre in Barcelona is Las Arenas on Plaza Espanya, which is lccated in a former bull fighting ring. Las Arenas has top brand name shops and many restaurants. There are two big shopping malls at each end of the long avenue in Barcelona called Avenida Diagonal. At the top end you can find L’illa Diagonal shopping mall which is perhaps the most exclusive mall in Barcelona and the Diagonal Mar shopping centre a little off centre down at the other end of Avenida Diagonal near the sea in the Diagonal Mar area of Barcelona. 

The only shopping mall that is open all year on Sundays in the city is the Maremagnum mall in Barcelona's port area (although Las Arenas mall opens on Sundays in the summer). Maremagnum is a good choice for rainy days with quite a good selection of shops (not all Maremagnum shops are open on public holidays though) and some nice restaurants on the top floor. Maremagnum is near other rainy day attractions like the Barcelona aquarium. For designer brand shopping you will need to brave the rain as most designer shops are on elegant streets Passeig de Gracia or Avenida Diagonal.

For exclusive outlet brand shopping on a rainy day take the La Roca shuttle bus to popular luxury shopping outlet village La Roca located about 45 minutes north of the city, but please be aware that La Roca is an outdoor village, not a covered mall, so again remember your umbrella. A visit to La Roca is a day trip from the centre of Barcelona.  The La Roca shuttle buses leave from central square Plaza Catalunya.

Barcelona has a new outlet shopping mall called Viladecans The Style Outlets which is 30 minutes south of Barcelona and you can get there by shuttle bus from the city center.

Activities for rainy days

Barcelona has many interesting museums to visit in wet weather. Find the top Barcelona museums here. Be aware though that many people seek out museums when it is raining, so they can be crowded on rainy days. One of the most popular Barcelona museums is the Picasso Museum which is a perfect museum for a rainy day in Barcelona. It is big and interesting enough to spend many hours inside enjoying the art and the palatial museum buildings in the Born area of medieval Barcelona's old city. The Born area also has many fun small boutiques, restaurants and cafes, so you could spend some time shop-hopping there.

Try Barcelona’s first VR arcade called VR Playground. There offer amazing 360 degree Virtual Reality games and experiences

Try the Spanish ham Jamón Experience at the Barcelona Ham Museum on Las Ramblas street in the gothic quarter. In the Raval area there is a Barcelona Gallery of Illusions where visitors can step into optical illusions based on famous paintings and take photos.

Check out the free Born Cultural Centre which has impressive excavations which give a fascinating insight into Barcelona's past in the early part of the 18th century.

IMPORTANT TIP: Museums is the first choice for many tourists on a rainy day in Barcelona, so the queues might be very long especially in the summer. Imagine everyone on the beach suddenly queuing outside a museum! Bring an umbrella or raincoat in case you have to queue outside - and a good tip is to book skip-the-line tickets if possible. You can get skip the line tickets for the Picasso museum, for the Dali museum in Figueres (this is a day tour that need to be booked in advance usually) and for the Sagrada Familia church. 

Other popular museums in Barcelona which are excellent for a rainy day in Barcelona, are the Barcelona History Museum where you can see ruins from the original Roman city of Barcino. If you are a modernist architecture fan, then don't miss the Gaudí Experiencia centre near Park Guell, but bring an umbrella if you visit Park Guell itself on a rainy day.

Of interest to modernist fans might be the small and fascinating Modernist museum MMCAT in Barcelona's Eixample area.  The Miro museum on Monjtuic hill and the MNAC Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya also on Montjuic are both exciting to visit for a few hours.  

For sports fans there is an small Olympic museum on Montjuic which is fun, but the star attraction of sports museums is the very popular FC Barcelona experience (take a cab or the metro) The Barça museum is a great place for a couple of hours of dry-time if you like football. There are often interesting and often free exhibitions at various cultural centers in Barcelona like the CaixaForum and the CCCB

Spas and wellness centres Barcelona

Near the Picasso museum you can find the only Arab spa and bathes in Barcelona. Relaxing in a spa for a few hours is a great way to spend some time on a rainy day. Check out a full list of wellness centres or go for a swim at one of the public swimming pools in Barcelona

Indoor sights for a rainy day

Why not visit Barcelona's most famous attraction unfinished church of Sagrada Familia when it's raining in Barcelona, but remember your umbrella - even on a rainy day there might still be queues. You can avoid the queues altogether if you pre-book skip the line Sagrada Familia tickets online. There is plenty to see inside the Sagrada Familia including the museum in the crypt of the church which has a wonderful collection of photos, models and explanations about the construction of this unique monument by Antoni Gaudi.

Barcelona Aquarium or Zoo

The Barcelona Aquarium is one of Spain's biggest aquariums and very popular with children. It can be crowded on rainy days. The zoo is also an option but mostly outdoors.

Movies in English

It's a bit lame going to see a movie, when you are on holiday, but the option is there for English speakers. Cinemas that show movies in English or other original languages are called VO cinemas. V.O. means Version Original. Find the Barcelona VO cinemas here. The best VO cinema in Barcelona is Balmes Multicines (in our opinion) Others in the center of Barcelona are the Renoir on street Floridablanca and Verdi cinemas in Gracia area and also the Yelmo Icaria in Vila Olimpica, which is 10 minutes by metro from the city centre in the Port Olimpic area.

Day Tours from Barcelona

It might not be raining everywhere in Catalonia. Sometime the rain is local to Barcelona and it's sunny in the Pyrenees mountains of Andorra. Sometimes thought it rains all over the region. But you never know - the rain might might have stopped by the time you get off the bus or train when you book a day trip to a destination outside Barcelona. For example, you could take a day trip by train to the town of Figueres to see the Dali Museum

Ice skating in Barcelona

Go ice skating in Barcelona. There are two indoor ice skating rinks in Barcelona. You can rent ice skates.

Go-karting in Barcelona

Go-karting at the indoor go-kart tracks near Barcelona. 

Food and restaurants

Eat your way through a rainy day. Long lunches, a siesta and then dinner. Try the new food court El Nacional on Passeig de Gracia street in an renovated modernist factory, or the charming foot court Mercat Princesa in the Born area of Barcelona in a 14th century palace near the Picasso museum. La Fabrica Moritz is a popular microbrewery and bar in Eixample area of Barcelona and there are many more wonderful restaurants in Barcelona. Find top restaurants in Barcelona.

Barcelona Exhibitions and events

Barcelona often has internationals exhibitions which are open to the general public so check the events calendar for exhibitions in Barcelona. You might be lucky and find a food fair, a ski show or a boat show that you can visit for a few hours. To see all events in Barcelona visit

Despite the rain we hope you have a great day and enjoy your stay in Barcelona. If you have any suggestions or would like to tell us how you spent your rainy day in Barcelona, please write to us at We would like to hear from you.


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